Jennie Lois Windle was my first piano teacher. I studied with her for 10 years as a child. In addition to teaching me about harmony and rhythm, she cultivated precision, creativity, and appreciation for beauty. As an adult, I conducted 12 oral history interviews with her to document how she developed her incredible gift for teaching. In addition to studying with classical piano teachers, she also studied jazz, pedagogy, and even modern dance. All of these elements allowed her to cultivate the whole musician in each of her pupils: she taught us how to compose our own music, bow on stage gracefully, and how to continue in performance even if we made a mistake.
Mrs. Windle died in early 2009, and I produced this audio tribute for her memorial service. It combines excerpts from her oral history with excerpts from recitals I gave as a student. My hope is that it honors her extraordinary passion for music and the lasting gifts she gave all her students.